The Promise and Possibilities of Restorative Justice as a Way of Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in England and Wales
This chapter explores the possibility of using of restorative justice to address men’s violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence, in the specific cultural context of England and Wales. It is certainly an auspicious moment to consider this. A newly revised draft of the ‘Victims’ Code’ (Ministry of Justice 2013), launched in April 2013, promises, amongst other things, extra support for victims of the most serious crimes, specialist help for young victims
and, most importantly, sets out the services that should be provided to victims of crime in England and Wales, including restorative justice. The Code describes what victims can expect and what they are entitled to:
But turning to the substance of this chapter and by way of preparing the way for a consideration of restorative justice, I first briefly summarize policy developments in relation to intimate partner violence in England and Wales and outline some of the issues relating to the effectiveness of the law and the criminal justice system in dealing with violence towards women. Policy developments in England and Wales are characteristically slow and incremental. Secondly, I point to what we know about what women want in response to violence against them from their partners. In the third section, I explore the promise and prospects for restorative justice in relation to men who commit violence against their partners.